An extra day off to observe Independence Day was a nice surprise for many Maryland state employees, but posed an inconvenience for some drivers trying to comply with federal REAL ID regulations.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that state offices would be closed Friday, making for a longer July Fourth holiday, and forcing drivers to reschedule appointments they had made with the Motor Vehicle Administration.
Maryland drivers — and the MVA — are facing deadlines to provide the agency with required documentation, in cases where drivers were issued REAL ID licenses without having the paperwork on file.
“MDOT MVA is in the process of contacting customers with appointments scheduled for July 5 and is working to reschedule those appointments,” according to an agency news release.
In addition, drivers can reschedule an appointment through the MVA Central Scheduling System.
Maryland began issuing REAL ID licenses in 2009, under a process the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deemed compliant. However, in October 2017, DHS informed Maryland that all drivers with the REAL ID star must have scanned documents on file with MVA.
In May, MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer told WTOP approximately 1 million customers fell into the category of having REAL ID licenses without scanned documents on file.
The MVA said 67% of 80,000 contacted customers have complied with providing documents in person.
The agency has extended branch hours statewide, and has brought in extra employees to facilitate the REAL ID compliance process.
Overall, MVA said with 15 months until the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline for federal REAL ID compliance, more than half of Maryland’s 5 million licensed drivers and ID card holders have provided the needed documents.
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